Multi-agent modeling of the South Korean avian influenza epidemic

Several highly pathogenic avian influenza (AI) outbreaks have been reported over the past decade. South Korea recently faced AI outbreaks whose economic impact was estimated to be 6.3 billion dollars, equivalent to nearly 50% of the profit generated by the poultry-related industries in 2008.

In addition, AI is threatening to cause a human pandemic of potentially devastating proportions. Several studies show that a stochastic simulation model can be used to plan an efficient containment strategy on an emerging influenza...

...Conclusions: Our results show that a prepared response with targeted quarantine protocols would have a high probability of containing the disease.

The containment plan with an aggressive culling plan is not necessarily efficient, causing a higher fraction of unnecessarily culled poultry farms. Instead, it is necessary to balance culling with other important factors involved in AI spreading.

Better estimations for the containment of AI spreading with this model offer the potential to reduce the loss of poultry and minimize economic impact on the poultry industry.

Author: Taehyong KimWoochang HwangAidong ZhangSurajit SenMurali Ramanathan
Credits/Source: BMC Infectious Diseases 2010, 10:236